I eagerly waited until we made a trip down to Minot, and picked out a pair of running shoes and a sensor for my shoe that would track my runs on my iPod. I really wanted an adorable outfit to run in, because lets face it, I was going to look like I was dying so I may as well be dressed awesomely. After looking at the awesome running clothes and seeing how much they cost (did you know a Nike tank top alone is almost $30?!) I decided that I should wait to see if I really could do this before investing a lot of money into running clothes. I settled on a pair of cheap athletic pants and a t-shirt from Target.
And then of course I had to wait out winter. In the middle of March we finally started to have some nicer weather. And I was ready. I set my alarm, and got up first thing to 'run'. Run is a loosely used term in this case. I walked for 5 minutes. And then I tried to run. 1/2 a block. I made it half a block. I was gasping for air. My legs felt like they would collapse under me. But that was were this all began. I finished that first 'run' by alternately running for a 1/2 block, and then walking for 2 (I'll be honest, it was possibly more). 20 minutes later I was back at our doorstep, exhausted.
Since then I have pushed myself probably harder than I ever have for anything. The first day I ran for 10 minutes straight on "my loop" around town, I was so proud. I had gone from running half a block, to a full 10 minutes. In July, I successfully ran my first 5K. I started running at the start line and didn't stop until the finish line (minus the brief pause at the water truck). To that point, it was officially the furthest I had run without stopping.
I have developed a love of running. Most mornings I'm eager to get out of bed, get my sneakers laced up and hear the thud of my feet against the pavement. Some days, I just can't run far enough. My legs just want to keep going, even though there is no road left to run in our tiny town. I love that I can get lost in my thoughts. Those moments when I'm on the road, that is the only thing I need to focus on. The next stride, the next breath. There aren't many moments like that in my day.
I still consider myself a beginner. I'm not the fastest. I still don't run very far most days. I want to call myself a runner. And yet, I don't really know. What makes a runner? Do you have to do it for so long before calling yourself a runner? Is it the fact of just doing it no matter how pathetic an attempt? Or is it the love of doing it? Regardless of what or when, I know that tomorrow morning will find me out on the road falling in love with it all over again.
crossing the finish of of my first 5K - July, 17 2010